19 April, 2019

#BookReview :: The Quiche of Death (Agatha Raisin #1) by M.C. Beaton

Putting all her eggs in one basket, Agatha Raisin gives up her successful PR firm, sells her London flat, and samples a taste of early retirement in the quiet village of Carsely. Bored, lonely and used to getting her way, she enters a local baking contest: Surely a blue ribbon for the best quiche will make her the toast of the town. But her recipe for social advancement sours when Judge Cummings-Browne not only snubs her entry--but falls over dead! After her quiche's secret ingredient turns out to be poison, she must reveal the unsavory truth…

Agatha has never baked a thing in her life! In fact, she bought her entry ready-made from an upper crust London quicherie. Grating on the nerves of several Carsely residents, she is soon receiving sinister notes. Has her cheating and meddling landed her in hot water, or are the threats related to the suspicious death? It may mean the difference between egg on her face and a coroner's tag on her toe… 


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I was introduced to M.C. Beaton and her protagonist Agatha Raisin when I received a review copy of ‘The Blood of an Englishman (Agatha Raisin #17) from Hachette India couple of years back. I am slightly biased towards stories small town murder mysteries thank to my early love for Miss Marple and Agatha Christie’s story telling. I took to the series very quickly.

The Quiche of Death introduces M.C. Beaton’s protagonist to the world. Agatha Raisin is a middle aged lady who had a high flying career in public relations. After selling off her business and her flat in London, she decides to retire early to a quaint old town of Carsley in Cotswold. Life in the village of Carsley turns out to be something she hadn’t been prepared for. When the village prepares for a baking contest, Agatha Raisin, who hasn’t baked a single thing in her life, decides to enter the contest. Winning the contest would bring her popularity among her fellow neighbors. Or so she thought! When the contest judge keels over dead… she realizes that there was a secret ingredient in her Quiche – Poison!

There’s murder, there’s village drama and there’s a love interest for Agatha Raisin. This cozy mystery offers up a lot of funny and dramatic moments for its readers. The dynamics of the small village where everybody knows everybody else’s business was interesting to read about. The local gossip mills turns the investigation cycle all around and Agatha Raisin ends up solving the murder purely by luck – or that is what her friends believe.

What I found endearing was the fact that Agatha had a highly successful career in Public Relations. She can work wonders for her clients. But when it comes to her personal life, she is in hot soup with the villagers of Carsley. A woman who is used to the busy life of London and getting things done her way, she is at loss at building connections in the place she now calls home. As she investigates the case, not once does she pretend to be a qualified detective. Instead she stumbles upon clues and fumbles across facts of the case. 

The plot itself is simple. The narrative, the characters, the setting and the delivery of information makes it interesting. It is a well balanced book where each aspect of the book plays an important role in shaping it up. A quick and witty read that you would want to read on a leisurely afternoon with a glass of ice tea.


This post is a part of A to Z Challenge and BlogchatterA2Z


2 comments:

  1. Love it! Great book for letter Q. I haven't read this series, but it sounds like it'd be a fun one.

    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

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  2. Same pinch! Then again, you already knew Agatha Raisin was one of my favorite characters, I'm sure. ;-)

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